Todd Buchholz says these kids today are the Go Nowhere Generation. The likelihood of 20-somethings moving to another state has dropped well over 40 percent since the 1980s, according to calculations based on Census Bureau data. The stuck-at-home mentality hits college-educated Americans as well as those without high school degrees. According to the Pew Research Center, the proportion of young adults living at home nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008, before the Great Recession hit... For about $200, young Nevadans who face a statewide 13 percent jobless rate can hop a Greyhound bus to North Dakota, where they’ll find a welcome sign and a 3.3 percent rate. Why are young people not crossing borders?
In the most startling behavioral change among young people since James Dean and Marlon Brando started mumbling, an increasing number of teenagers are not even bothering to get their driver’s licenses. Back in the early 1980s, 80 percent of 18-year-olds proudly strutted out of the D.M.V. with newly minted licenses, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. By 2008 — even before the Great Recession — that number had dropped to 65 percent.
Maybe they realized that no matter where they go, they'll find a Star Bucks and a Gap, so why bother?
Children raised during recessions ultimately take fewer risks with their investments and their jobs. Even when the recession passes, they don’t strive as hard to find new jobs, and they hang on to lousy jobs longer... Perhaps more worrisome, kids who grow up during tough economic times also tend to believe that luck plays a bigger role in their success, which breeds complacency. “Young people raised during recessions end up less entrepreneurial and less willing to leave home because they believe that luck counts more than effort,” said Paola Giuliano, an economist at U.C.L.A.’s Anderson School of Management. A bad economy can boost a person’s weighting of luck by 20 percent, Ms. Giuliano found.
Notice how popular the word “random” has become among young people. (Yeah, like that whippersnapper Bill Gates.)
My biggest issue with the drop in geographic mobility is that it means people aren't moving to civilized places like cities (Urban Archipelago). Maybe this comes back to Charles Murray's Coming Apart theory? z2012-02-02-MurrayComingApartBook
Update: or maybe they're just moving into cities then don't need a car.